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Pain and Suffering of Iranian Children

The murder of several little girls in recent weeks, has drawn media’s attention to the suffering of children, the unprecedented increase in the rate of child marriage and the appalling social damage caused by child abuse  Iran. These are only a small part of the social problems related to the children that surface in the media. They are rooted in poverty and unemployment, combined with ignorance, cultural poverty, and policies based on the traditionalist and reactionary views of the ruling regime in Iran. Combined with an absence of legal and stat

young boy in hospital

e protection for children, these conditions exacerbate social problems and the suffering of the children in Iran.
According to the statistics, children make up 24 million of Iran’s population (according to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, anyone below the age of eighteen years is defined as a child). Sociologists deem children as the most defenseless and vulnerable individuals in a society. The Convention states, “The Convention states that everyone under the age of 18 (the definition of a child), regardless of gender, origin, religion or possible disabilities, needs special care and protection because children are often the most vulnerable.”
Despite signing the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Iran’s theocratic regime has taken no steps towards it. The Child Protection Act has been gathering dust in the bureaucracy of the parliament for years. The regime persecutes organisations that genuinely promote the rights of children, it conceals and obstructs the publication of data on the harm done to children and works towards removing the subject from the agenda of periodic international meetings on the rights of children, and it tries to present fake statistics. In Read the rest of this entry »

Widening Gender Divide and Increasing Impoverishment of Women

One of the most telling indicators of economic, political and cultural development, gender equality and the empowerment of women, isstreet vendors in Gilan Iran women’s share of economic resources and their influence in the country’s economy. According to agreements and official documents of international gatherings on women, ‘promoting development, eradicating poverty, promoting and achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment are among effective factors for the realisation of human rights (World Conference on Women, 1995), and governments have a duty to plan for these and to implement them.

Therefore, one of the most important indicators of development is the rate of employment among women and its effect on the country’s economy. From this point of view, Iran has a deplorable rating, even among the countries of the region. Read the rest of this entry »

8th of March, the day of solidarity of women all over the world

Jam'iat_e_nesvan_e_vatan-khah01The Democratic Organisation of Iranian Women issued a statement on the International Women’s Day: “Greetings to all hard-working women, on the occasion of 8th March, the day of solidarity with the struggle of women the world over, for freedom from sexual and class exploitation, for a better world, free from poverty, violence, war and exploitation, a world of equal rights.
The 8th of March is not only a reminder of the relentless struggle of workers for their rights against discrimination and inequality, but also an occasion to honour a century and a half of women’s movement with its successes and setbacks – a movement whose achievements have changed the face of the world in the interest of working and deprived people, especially women.
This day is also irrevocably linked with the name and memory of its founder, Clara Zetkin, one of the renowned leaders of the German communist and working class movement. For the first time, in the conference of socialist women in 1910, she proposed this day as the day of commemoration of the women workers in USA who had been gunned down by the police to protect the interests of capitalism. In the following year, in 1911, the second international accepted this proposal and since then, the international women’s day has been commemorated by progressive women in different countries, as their conditions allow.
The 8th March is not merely a day of celebration, it is the day of renewal of our resolve to uphold the values for which the world’s communists and progressives, and women at their helm, have fought:  freedom from sexual and class exploitation. Today, more than 150 years after its inception, this struggle of women worldwide has had immense achievements such as raising awareness about the role of women in society, it has succeeded in bringing about the preliminary conditions for ending sexual inequality, such as ending numerous misogynistic laws in patriarchal societies, and the realisation of the social, economic and political rights of women in many countries in the world. In addition, the effective role of women in the anti-war movement, against poverty and violence and for the environment, has turned women’s movement into an effective force in political developments in the world. Read the rest of this entry »

The poor reduced to sheltering in Graves, and the Regime’s Response

In recent weeks the scenes of destitute men, women and children taking shelter from the bitter cold in empty graves has shocked the people of grave-dwellersIran. In December 2016, the daily Shahrvand reported that in the Municipality of Shariar in Western Province of Tehran, the cold of winter has forced around 50 homeless people who usually sleep in cardboard covers, to take shelter in 20 of the 300 graves that have been prepared for burials in the large scale graveyard of Nasir Abad Baghestan. The reporter found 3-4 people occupying each of the graves that are 1.5 meters deep. Some homeless families live in tents in the area around the graveyard or under the viaduct. The homeless shelter here during the night. In the course of the day they leave their meagre belongings in the graves and try to source food or beg in the surrounding area. Their belongings which consist of torn blankets or clothes are prone to being stolen by other grave-dwellers. These graves are a short distance from those that house the dead following daily burials nearby.
According to the cemetery’s keeper, the grave-dwellers first moved in about a month previously. The boundary wall is low enough for them to scale it and although the officials had chased them away, they would keep returning. Many of them were picked up by the police and moved to ‘camps’ (for the homeless) but they escaped and returned to the graveyard. He also thought that: “nearly all of them are drug addicts. There are two women and an 8 year old child. They are also addicts. Opposite the cemetery, 100 meters away, there is also an old woman with two sons and her daughters-in-law and grand-children living in a tent. The old woman and one of her sons are addicts. There are more of them. A bit further along, under the bridge, there are a couple who have come from the provinces. They also live in a tent but they aren’t addicts.” Read the rest of this entry »

Mass dismissal of Women Workers in Iran

Based on the official statistics, 43 thousand women have been laid off recently while on maternity leave. The dismissal of these 43 thousand women has been officially endorsed and confirmed and as such has put the job security of working women at risk. Given the prevailing conditions women wave their right, and avoid taking maternity leave.1074861_794-1-e1476481840104
The mass dismissal of women who are in employment is happening at a time when, according to the Managing Director of the Organization of Small Industries and the Industrial Parks of Iran, there are 88,000 licensed industries in Iran, about 90 percent of which are considered small enterprises with fewer than 50 employees, and 4,500 are considered medium-sized, which employ 50 to 100 employees. Women form at least 10-20 percent of the workforce of these workplaces and another 2.8 million registered commercial units across the country.
These figures paint a clear picture of the depth of lawlessness and discrimination against women, and the poverty and hardship that women in blue and white collar jobs face because of the misogynistic and anti-worker policies of the regime. Read the rest of this entry »

Campaigns for the International Day for the Elimination of Gender-based Violence in Iran and the World

The Democratic Organisation of Iranian Women supports whole-heartedly the international campaigns against violence that are held the world over between 25th November and 10th December every year. Every year, during this period millions of people, especially progressive women, the world over, participate in the campaign that culminates on the 10th of December the day of Orange the WorldHuman Rights, and is a manifestation of the integral connection between violence against women and the breach of human rights, in other words, violence against women is the violation of human rights.
The organised struggle of women in these days have been called Orange the World and have the following aims:
Raising awareness of sexual violence and identifying it as a violation of human rights at local, regional and international levels;
Intensifying the local actions regarding sexual violence and creating transparent relations between local and international action towards an end to violence towards women;
Organising networks in which activists can devise, share and promote new strategies against sexual violence;
Raising the profile of women’s solidarity and organizing against violence against women;
Putting pressure on governments to honour their legal undertakings in the field of ending violence against women. Read the rest of this entry »

Appeal by the Mothers of Laleh Park

mothers of laale parkIn May 2016 the women who have come together under the banner Mothers of Laleh Park Iran and who have been campaigning against human rights violations in Iran, issued an open letter to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, as shown here:

“May 2016
From: Mothers of Park Laleh Iran, (www.mpliran.net)

To:
Mr. Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

Cc:
- Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations
- Mr. Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran
- Mr. Christof Heyns, UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions
- Mr. Juan Mendez, UN Special Repporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment
- Human Rights Watch
- International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)
- Iranian League for the Defence of Human Rights
- Defenders of Human Rights Center (DHRC)
- Amnesty International”

“We Demand an Intensive Investigation on the Violation of Human Rights in Iran and Ask for the Authorities to Be Held Accountable.
The systematic violation of human rights in Iran is beyond description and we must find a way to put an end to it. Freedom of thought and expression is virtually non-existent in our country. No dissidents, whether social and political activists, or religious minorities such as Baha’is, Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, Sunni, atheists and people with diverse ethnic Read the rest of this entry »

DOIW’s message to WIDF and appeal for action in fighting Child Marriage

In a letter to the Women’s International Democratic Federation, the Democratic Organisation of Iranian Women has described the profound damage that the Islamic Republic’s policy of Distressed Child photopromoting child marriage is wreaking on young girls and children in our country and appealed to the Federation for its solidarity in taking action against this inhumane practice. The following are excerpts from the Organisation’s message:
‘Child marriage has serious and irreparable impacts on children’s physical and mental health. Many underage girls (under 18) die during or after childbirth.
The United Nations passed a resolution in 2014 that obligates all member states to ban child marriage and to ratify and enforce laws to prevent it and to punish who break them.
The legal age of marriage in Iran is 13 for girls and 15 for boys, and in some cases the child’s guardian could allow, with court’s approval, the child to be married even at earlier age. As such, legal avenues for child marriage are available. Moreover, the policy of “population increase” issued by the Supreme Leader in 14 articles and tasked to the government, urges the increase in the rate of pregnancy, lowering the age of marriage, and providing more services for pregnant women, which encourages child marriage. Read the rest of this entry »

Challenges Facing Women Workers

May 1st commemorated the heroic struggle of the textile workers of Chicago in 1886. While this day is a national holiday in many countries in the world, and is celebrated by workers, in Iran not only is it not a national holiday, the994-women-p8 state prevents workers demonstrations or expression of their demands on this day.

The regime of Islamic Republic only allows organizations manufactured by itself and ones that are ‘subordinate to the leadership’ to assemble and organize. Last year the regime prevented the members of the Union of bus drivers of Tehran from distributing sweets among the workers as a celebration of international workers’ day, while Ebrahim Madadi and Davood Razavi, members of the union’s management were arrested. Every year the treatment of workers becomes harsher in the run-up to May 1st.

The neo-liberal policies such as privatization and structural adjustment worsen the conditions of unemployment and poverty. The trend of firing workers and closure of factories and workshops continues unabated. The workers who are not laid off have to deal with severely delayed pay and insurance. Women are among the first to be laid off, and this is true of women in all walks of life and not just women workers. Read the rest of this entry »

Issues Facing the Women’s Movement (pt 2)

The regime of Supreme Religious Leader has adopted different tactics in dealing with the women’s movement and despite 994-women-p8all the restrictions it has imposed on women, the regime has not succeeded in suppressing the movement completely. The statistics on women’s employment during the last ten years are cause for serious concern for women’s activists. One of the means the regime uses is to restrict women’s engagement in social matters. This has been confirmed over and again by the most senior members of the ruling regime. There is not doubt that the current and deliberate policies of the regime will result in even worse statistics in a short time. While the number of women in higher education has grown, this has not resulted in an increase in employment. This is due to the fact that the sinister policy that the medieval regime has pursued for a long time, has borne fruit and the superior position of women in the social movements in the country will be weakened substantially. Women’s rights activists must study this situation with great care and devise a way of countering it. Read the rest of this entry »